Readers’ Interpretation Of Barn Burning By Haruki Murakami

June 7, 2021 by Essay Writer

With Haruki Murakami’s short story entitled “Barn Burning” the reader can interpret the different meanings a phrase or saying may or may not mean based on the context as to which it was said. In essence, this excerpt encourages one to piece together and question the validity of the narrator’s life and the story’s overall meaning and theme. Through the first-person narrative is one able to feel as though they are a part of the story and able to know what is happening in real time. There are questions that are usually left unanswered by the author and it is up to the reader to answer it for themselves. The excerpt, from which this explication is based on, proves that one may have to read in-between-the-lines so that they may fully understand what is going on throughout the story.

“Barn Burning” is more than just a short story with a main protagonist and theme. It is a beautiful metaphor for pertaining to that of relationships. The story revolves around the narrator finding the idea of barns burning enticing and is curious to know when the next barn will burn, as he is stuck in a typical suburban lifestyle, he also finds that the disappearance of the young woman he became attached to and the meaning behind the phrase start to intertwine and relate with one another by the end of the story. The narrator finds his relationship with the young woman to be quite interesting because she is not connected to suburban life and ultimately accepts her for who she is. The man that the young woman introduces to the narrator happens to be handsome and one that travels a lot. It wouldn’t be until the young woman and her new man came over to the narrator’s house to smoke and drink that a phrase would stay with the narrator for the longest time. In the piece that was selected the man indicated that barns are built almost everywhere. What that means is that no matter the place or how it was made, a barn is essentially created using whatever means necessary and that it is susceptible of burning down. It goes to show that no barn is safe from burning down and that the longer a barn has been up the easier it is to catch on fire, although very much unlikely seeing as the newly built barns are the ones that burn the fastest. In essence, what the man might have meant when he said that “It’s like that’s why they were put there from the very beginning. No grief to anyone. They just… vanish. One, two, poof!” was that every relationship has at least one person thinking of burning the barn down because of the fact that they have might lost the sparks they initially had in the beginning. Essentially, these barns would perish so badly in the flames that everything is gone without a trace.

The way Haruki Murakami was able to allow the reader to come up with their own conclusion as to what their interpretation of the story is what makes his style of writing that much more compelling. Murakami was able to present the imagery of relationships burning and the harsh realities that come there after once they do. The whole idea that every human relationship is nothing more than a shallow existence and bound to crash and burn after losing their initial spark is what is relatable to the readers. It goes to show that once a person has received everything a relationship has to offer, they make no effort to maintain it thus having the “barn burn.”

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